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Kentucky, US (Population: 4,206,074)
State Capitol: Frankfort

Major Cities: Louisville, Lexington – Fayette, Owensboro, Bowling Green, Covington, Hopkinsville, Henderson, Richmond, Jeffersontown

State Nickname/Motto: Bluegrass State – United We Stand, Divided We Fall

Statehood Granted: June 1, 1792

History: The area now known as Kentucky had been inhabited by American Indians continuously from prehistoric times. When explorers and settlers began entering Kentucky in the mid-1700s, there were Shawnee communities who migrated from the north and Cherokees villages who came from the southeast. Much of what is now Kentucky was negotiated and then taken from them in the treaties of Fort Stanwix (1768) and Sycamore Shoals (1775). Thereafter, Kentucky grew rapidly as the first settlements west of the Appalachian Mountains were founded, with settlers primarily from Virginia, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania, entering the region via the Cumberland Gap and the Ohio River. The most famous of these early explorers and settlers was Daniel Boone, traditionally considered one of the founders of the state. Shawnees, however, were unhappy about the settlement of Kentucky, and allied themselves with the British in the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783). The Battle of Blue Licks, one of the last major battles of the Revolution, was fought in Kentucky.

Geography: Highest point: Black Mountain, 4,145 feet. Kentucky borders states of both the Midwest and the Southeast. West Virginia lies to the east, Virginia to the southeast Tennessee to the south, Missouri to the west, Illinois and Indiana to the northwest, and Ohio to the north and northeast. Kentucky's northern border is formed by the Ohio River; its western border by the Mississippi River.

Ethnic Diversity: One Race (98.9%), White (89.9%), Black or African American (7.2%), American Indian and Alaska Native (0.2%), Asian (0.9%), Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (0.1%), Some other race (0.7%), Two or more races (1.1%), Hispanic or Latino (1.7%)*

Famous State People:
  • Muhammad Ali (1942 - ) World heavyweight champion of boxing; born in Louisville.
  • George Clooney (1961 - ) Actor made famous in the television show ER; born in Lexington.
  • Jefferson Davis (1808 - 1889) President of the Confederate States of America; born in Todd County.
  • Duncan Hines (1880 - 1959) Founder of Duncan Hines company; born in Bowling Green.
  • Alben W. Barkley (1877 - 1956) Vice president; born in Graves County.
  • Bill Monroe (1911 - 1996) Songwriter, considered the "father of bluegrass"; born in Jerusalem Ridge.
  • Loretta Lynn (1935 - ) Country music singer; born in Butcher Holler.
  • James Bowie (1796 - 1836) Known for his famous "Bowie knife" and a sometimes reckless adventurer, Jim Bowie is now immortalized as one of the true folk heroes in early Texas; born near Spring Creek.
  • Abraham Lincoln (1809 - 1865) The 16th President of the United States; born in Hardin County.
  • Colonel Harland Sanders (1890 - 1980) Founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken; lived in Corbin.
  • Diane Sawyer (1945 - ) The first female reporter on 60 Minutes; born in Glasgow.
  • Harold "Pee Wee" Reese (1918 - 1999) Baseball shortstop with Brooklyn Dodgers; born in Ekron.
  • Kit Carson (1809 - 1868), Scout and Indian agent; born in Madison County.
  • Robert Penn Warren (1905 - 1989) Author known for works such as All the King's Men and Band of Angels; born in Guthrie.
  • Jim Varney (1949 - 2000) - Actor/Comedian. Best known for his portrayal of Ernest P. Worrell; born in Lexington.
  • Johnny Depp (1963 - ) - Famous actor; born in Owensoboro.
  • Irene Dunne (1898 - 1990) Actress; born in Louisville.

  • Major Colleges/Universities: Eastern Kentucky University, Kentucky State University, Morehead State University, Murray State University, Northern Kentucky University, University of Kentucky, University of Louisville, Western Kentucky University, Alice Lloyd College, Asbury College, Asbury Theological Seminary, Bellarmine University, Berea College, Brescia University, Campbellsville University, Centre College, Clear Creek Baptist Bible College, Daymar College, Frontier School of Midwifery and Family Nursing, Georgetown College, Kentucky Christian University, Kentucky Mountain Bible College, Kentucky Wesleyan College, Lexington Theological Seminary, Lindsey Wilson College, Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Louisville Technical Institute, Mid-Continent University, Midway College, National College of Business and Technology, Pikeville College, Saint Catharine College, Simmons College of Kentucky, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Spalding University, Spencerian College, Sullivan University, Thomas More College, Transylvania University, Union College, University of the Cumberlands

    State and National Parks: Cumberland Falls State Park, Mammoth Cave National Park, Red River Gorge, Daniel Boone National forest, Big South Fork national River and Recreation Area, Trail of Tears National Historic Trail, Jefferson Memorial Forest, Green River Lake State Park, Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest, Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site

    Misc: Although Kentucky has a predominantly Southern culture, it is also influenced by the Midwest. Kentucky is a mixture of Southern and Appalachian In terms of dialect, food, and music.The state is also known for bourbon and whiskey distilleries, breeding, rearing and racing of horses, and gambling.

    *U.S. Census - 2005